I can’t remember which comedian said it, but years ago on an episode of Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson asked the fella why he loved motorcycles. The response? The fact that when it comes to motorcycles, they’re the kind of vehicle that doesn’t offer any second chances. You either get it right, or you die. These days, the roads have plenty of hazards for anyone who prefers two-wheeled transportation on a pocket rocket.
A strong gust of wind, a treacherous road or some fella in a VW Golf who gets incensed at the idea that his go-faster stripes mean nothing when you lane-split to help alleviate traffic, are just some of the dangers you might encounter. What you probably won’t find on the road ahead, are roving gangs of bikers armed to the teeth with chains, guns and swords that are aimed at your helmet.
Unless you’re playing Road Redemption that is, as the spiritual successor to Road Rage is all about being bikurious and vicious. “For those wondering, the answer is yes. Road Redemption was heavily inspired by the classic Road Rash series, particularly the Road Rash entries on the original Sega Genesis/Megadrive, Road Rash on 3DO (later ported to the original PlayStation), and Road Rash 64 on Nintendo 64,” EQ Games CEO Ian Fish wrote on the PS Blog.
Motorstorm was also a big inspiration for us, as were Burnout 2 and 3.
With Road Redemption, our goal was to make a game that lives up to people’s memories of those classic Road Rash titles, which, of course meant that Road Redemption had to be much better than those early games in order to be successful. Thankfully, we’ve had 15 years of hardware progress to help us out and allow us to do things with physics and AI that simply weren’t possible in the heyday of the Road Rash series and I think we’ve achieved our goal.
Road Redemption’s gameplay, like its inspiration from Road Rash, is different from anything else on the market today. In addition to being a racing game, it’s also a full-fledged action game where the environment plays a huge role in a player’s moment-to-moment tactical decisions. Faced with a tough opponent on your left side, do you go at him hard and fast with your sword, putting yourself at risk for counters, or do you play defensively until the moment when you can kick him into oncoming traffic?
The interaction with an ever-changing environment allows for combat possibilities that no other game offers. We wanted variety in Road Redemption to come from building on top of the game’s core mechanics as someone plays through the campaign. For instance, in the campaign’s opening races, players will mostly stick to simple (yet satisfying) weapon swings, kicks, and parries.
However, late in the game a player might zap a heavily-armoured racer to his right with a stun baton, fire off a few AK-47 rounds into the racer dropping pipe bombs in front of him, then take out the truck trying to edge him off the road via a sticky C4 bomb, before knocking the racer to his right off his cycle with a sledgehammer… all in the span of three seconds!
The end result…kind of looks alright! Road Redemption is out right now on PS4 (Although it has been out on PC for much longer), and I’ll see if I can swing a review copy to see if it really does pick up the bloody chain that Road Rage left behind so many years ago.
Last Updated: November 8, 2018